Top 9 Reasons to see a Naturopath

The fact that seeing a naturopathic doctor is beneficial to everyone should be a foregone conclusion. This is because they treat people of every age-from young individual to octogenarians and even centenarians. These doctors are experts in comprehending all the whacky issues regarding supplements and herbs that one gets from online sources, TV programs such as Dr. Oz, from more knowledgeable friends or even from stores that keep health food.

One’s health is the most crucial thing and so living one to their own devices is not advisable. Health has been shown to have the capacity to influence one’s happiness and so it’s important that it is taken care of in the best way possible. This is where naturopathic doctors come in since they possess particular proficiency in everything that you may have seen in the aforesaid health-food stores and even during your visits to the grocery. What is liberating about these doctors is that they will ensure that you identify the exact thing that will give you the maximum benefit.

According to naturopathic doctors, there is a definite trend as to WHEY patients go to see them. This is in as much as they go to see the doctors seeking treatments for various conditions. Should you be wondering why you ought to see a naturopathic physician, worry no more. Here are the top reasons to make your reservations disappear.

a.     Naturopaths get the body to heal itself

Health issues or diseases can be caused by a host of factors. Naturopathic doctors basically heal using therapies that are non-evasive. These therapies do not harm the body. What is tremendous about such therapies is that they will in turn influence a cascade of events in the body. These events are natural in nature. Essentially, the events within the body will be activating the “Healing Power of Nature” principle. This principle known as the “Healing Power of Nature” is the overriding principle that naturopathic doctors rely on to treat the body. Not really treat per se but to get the body to treat itself. Various patients have confirmed the efficacy of this method. In other words, the body really understands how to treat itself. However, it can only do this under the right setting. And this is the work of the naturopath-to provide appropriate conditions for one’s body to heal itself. So you may want to visit a naturopath and get a dose of this natural healing.

b.    Focus on diet

Diet is an interesting area that essentially affects all of us. According to statistics from Google, issues related to diet had the most searches in the year 2014. This is probably because of the wrong things that we have been getting into our bodies. There is a saying which states that we are as good as what we eat. In the spirit of ensuring that we get the best versions of our bodies, naturopathic doctors will have to examine our caloric intakes. After examining them, they will then advice one accordingly. This is even more critical for individuals who are obese or overweight. Research has shown that diet among other factors such as stress and even lack of exercise lead to these problems. So if one visits a doctor with this problem, they will be advised accordingly. It is important to note that there are those naturopathic doctors that have certification in the nutritional modality. Thus in most cases, you will be dealing with a qualified professional. Therefore, if you are having weight issues, heart problems or you feel that you are not eating right; it is perhaps time to visit a naturopathic doctor in your neighborhood.

c.     Treats with safe natural medicine

The essence of naturopathic medicine is to treat patients with ways that do not give them goose bumps. This is why it is also known as alternative medicine. Nothing captures this moniker more effectively than the fact that naturopathic doctors treat people with natural medicine. It is obvious that some people are afraid of the side effects that accompany traditional medicines. Sometimes, people just do not like swallowing them. Well, research has concluded that some natural medications such as herbs are very effective. They eliminate symptoms for certain diseases without causing harm to the body. What is refreshing, and therefore encouraging about this, is that a naturopathic doctor can collaborate with your other physicians as they administer this treatment. But, there are those conditions that require the traditional medicines and in such cases, the naturopathic doctor will advice one accordingly since they are professionals.

d.    NDs focus on establishing the root cause

There is no doubt that relieving patients from symptoms is the first objective of treatment. This is especially true with medical doctors. However, there are various causes of diseases, hence the symptoms. Diseases can be caused by factors such as emotion, physical issues, genetic problems, social issues, mental issues, epigenetic factors and so on and so forth. So before a naturopathic doctor starts to treat one, they will first of all determine the root cause of the problem. The second step after the identification is the application of appropriate non-invasive technique(s). At the end of the day, a patient will not only have dealt with the symptoms, but also eliminated the potential for recurrence of the diseases condition.

e.     Holistic Approach

Naturopathic doctors treat the entire body. They first of all isolate particular dysfunctions or weaknesses in the body. After this, the treatment regimen that will follow will be influenced by the client’s particular presentation. The logic here is that contrary to common belief, it is not the disease but the patient who requires the interventions. The interest of naturopathic physician is in the symptoms that define the patient and not the ones that define the condition. This is in conformity to what a certain medical doctor said:  “It is more important to know what sort of patient has a disease rather than what sort of disease a patient has.”

f.      Avoids the use of harmful medications

It is common knowledge that medications are very harmful. Yes they are effective when it comes to the treatment of diseases yet their side effects cannot be overlooked. Clinical studies of many medicines have shown that once they are taken, some of them will produce effects such as vomiting, migraines, lower back pain, and sometimes increased heartbeat rate. This makes them very harmful even for humans. But when it comes to naturopathic medicine, these doctors strive to use natural means to treat diseases. Studies have indicated that the use of natural herbs is very safe as they do not possess side effects. Also, naturopathic physicians sometimes use diet to treat conditions. Generally, these doctors use therapies that are non-invasive, gentle, and efficacious and ultimately ones that do not possess side effects. This is one more reason as to why you should see one.

g.     You don’t need to be sick to benefit

You do not need to be sick to see a naturopath. These guys have been known to be resourceful in all spheres. Sometimes you can just visit them to get information regarding the multitude of information that you interact with. The ease with which we access information has made it hard for us to comprehend all the information that we get. A naturopath has the capacity to give you information regarding the good, bad as well as the unnecessary. He/she can make you benefit from good information about your body, general health and even diet. Naturopaths can also make one to maintain their motivation and focus during exercises. They do this through monitoring your schedule and the progress that you may be making. Further, they will advise you accordingly pertaining to what you are not doing right.

h.    It works

This is perhaps the single most important reason that you should visit a naturopath. Research has proven that the therapies that naturopaths employ are quite effective. Some of even have been proven to be more effective than the traditional medicine. Still, some of these therapies treat disease that the modern medicine cannot treat. All this and naturopaths till use methods that don’t hurt the patients to treat conditions. So, one gets to be cured of a condition without worrying about the side effects of the drugs that they will be given since most of them are herbal in nature.

g. Qualified Professionals

Contrary to some beliefs out there, naturopathic doctors are not quacks. These guys are subjected to the same rigors as the medical doctors. For instance, from the academic perspective, a nutritional medical physician spends 2600 hours in class and 2200 hours in clinics. On the other hand, a naturopathic doctor spends 3348 hours in class and 1400 hours in a clinic. Therefore, you will realize, from the above information that naturopathic doctors spend around the same amount of time in getting education. After the education, they are also required to acquire certification through an accredited body. Therefore, naturopathic doctors are sufficiently qualified to deal with the kind of diseases that they treat.

So, there are various reasons why one should go see a naturopathic doctor. Their reputations may have taken a hit due to misinformation but it is now obvious that they are as qualified as anyone else. As a matter of fact, they have quite an appeal when you consider how they always intend to cure one of the causes of a disease and not just the symptoms.

What is Naturopathic Medicine?

Naturopathic versus Allopathic Medicine

These two areas of medicine are both very great. They both have crucial roles to play in contemporary medicine. However, there are differences between the two that may make them distinct. It is such differences that sometimes influence a patient’s choice regarding the one that they may want to have when they are suffering from a condition. For instance, medical doctors subscribe to the belief that since the body is a portion of evolution, and that some of its organs are remnants of evolution meaning that even if the body parts are removed, there will be no substantial loss.

On the other hand, naturopaths believe in the holistic approach. They claim that the body was created to perfection by the divine and that all the organs are therefore connected. Consequently, the body parts are essential for the health of the body.

In allopathic medicine, the physicians treat the symptoms of a disease. In their world, the management of disease conditions entails the use of surgery, chemical drugs, psychotropic drugs, poisonous radiation and psychiatry.

Naturopathic medicine gives the saying ‘prevention is the best form of treatment’ its meaning. Herein, the identification of the causes of multifarious conditions and using detoxification to eliminate them and at the same time ensuring that balance exists in the nutritional is what is considered treatment. Things such as herbs, natural foods and dietary supplements, which have no undesired effe4cts, are the ones that naturopathic medicine emphasizes on for treating diseases.

The other difference between these two areas of medicine is affordability. There so many red tapes on allopathic medicine such as patents, regulated prices, and special facilities that are regulated by government, which make it out of reach of many people. Further, the drugs that are used here are very expensive since they have to be manufactured from the lab.

The naturopathic medicine is quite affordable to many. Since it involves the use of natural herbs and use, there can never be patenting of rights. As a matter of fact, it advocates for a type of treatment that one can do by themselves. Additionally, the facilities that they utilize are not that expensive while their desire to heal someone overrides everything else including money. A lot of the medicines that naturopathic medicine uses are grown and sometimes formulated at home.

There is also the issue of double-blind studies on people. Allopathic medicine emphasizes on this. In fact, almost half the patients here are given sugar pills irrespective of whether they will benefit from it or not. The corporate pharmaceuticals do research on animal that normally involves a lot of money. They then use this to treat human beings.

In naturopathic medicine, research is neither done on people nor animals. It more often than not endeavors to provide healing to a person. In this medicine, there are no sugar pills. The physicians here also do not believe in double studies.

How Naturopathic Medicine Heals

Naturopathic medicine is an area of medicine where people believe that nature possesses certain healing power. According to it, the body possesses an inherent capacity to cure itself. The personnel in this field are only responsible for the facilitation of the healing process. Naturopathic doctors deal with the primary causes of conditions rather than simply treating the symptoms. This is informed by the fact that symptoms are just but an indication that the body does not have the necessary balance. This may be caused by emotional, mental and physical issues. Therefore, treating the cause of a disease and not just the symptoms is very crucial.

Education and Licensing

Naturopathic Doctors undergo an intensive four year program from an accredited medical school. The requirements for this course are equivalent to those of the conventional medicine. Before they graduate, naturopathic doctors have to learn medical sciences such as pediatrics, biochemistry, immunology, and cardiology in addition to others. Also, they have to do a lot of reading on natural therapeutics, which is what they specialize on.

In order to be allowed to operate, a naturopath must possess a license. In places where naturopathy is protected, the physicians have to excel in the Naturopathic Physicians Licensing Examinations, which is given out by North American Board of Naturopathic Examiners (NABNE). This is after they successful graduate from the schools.

Various Naturopathic Treatments

a.     Diet

When it comes to naturopathic treatment, diet is the most essential aspect of it. A diet that is nutritious offers a lot of healing potential. It offers the very fundamental nutrients to the body thus the recuperating organs. A proper diet is important since it enables one to live healthily minus the need for extra medicine.  So, it allows one to avoid a lot of diseases conditions.

The naturopathy diet essentially consists of wholesome cereals, vegetables and fruits. Their fibre aid the body to prevent gastritis, diabetes, cancer etc. Naturopaths also recommend different fruit juices. This is because it is among the few excellent way of eating natural foods. These juices are recommended in relation to a patient and the condition.

b.     Supplements

Supplements are to a physician what pharmaceuticals are to the conventional doctors. They are given at therapeutic doses too. The doctors do not just prescribe the supplements for no reason or at a level below the therapeutic one. This is in tandem to the naturopathic medicine philosophy of holistically healing the body with nominal exogenous material. Majority of these supplements have been proven to be safe, which is why naturopathic medicine is bend on utilizing them. Normally, they start with less potent supplements and assess if they can contain the situation. If not, they move onto the next batch of supplements.

c.     Botanical Medicine (Herbs)

Naturopaths utilize natural plant cures to treat a lot of diseases. Disease conditions can only set in when the body loses balance. Naturopaths prescribe appropriate herbal mixes that lead to the rebalancing of processes that led to the disease. Therefore, the survival of the disease becomes impossible. Herbal medicines have been in use for a long period of time. So, the naturopaths are using something that has been proven to work. The natural treatment regimen takes twelve weeks but three visits in the same period. It is also crucial since it is the causes that are targete4d and not the symptoms.

d.     TCM and Ayurvedic Medicine

Traditional Chinese Medicine, Ayurvedic medicine and naturopathic medicine are at times used interchangeably. TCM, just like the name suggests is the Chinese medicine that has been in practice for centuries. On the other hand, Ayurvedic medicine is the one that Indians have been using. The three are connected because they all believe in the holistic treatment of the body. They also use the ‘traditional’ methods of treatment unlike the conventional medicine. Further, naturopathy uses the concepts behind Ayurvedic and TCM to treat the cause of a disease and not just the symptoms. So in a way, all of these three medicines are related.

e.     Complimentary Modalities

Naturopathy medicine uses complimentary modalities such as acupuncture and massage. A naturopath incorporates these other modalities into a treatment regimen if they consider them effective. Furthermore, the modalities such as acupuncture are considered less invasive and less painful. In fact, these modalities help naturopathic physicians to treat the cause of a disease and not just the symptoms. Homeopathy is also used since it aids the body to initiate its natural healing process. In other words, naturopathic medicine employs anything that will help to heal the whole body system since this is the ultimate objective of naturopathy-to cure the entire body.

f.      Mind and Spirit

The power of mind and spirit in treatment of various conditions has never been more important. It is normally used in naturopathy to especially treat addictive conditions. It is a funny way of treating such conditions but it works. Exercises such as meditation and treatments such as counseling are very important. Since you are not consuming anything, these methods of treatment are very safe for people. The mind also connects almost everything that occurs in the body and so naturopathy takes advantage of that in order to treat certain conditions. Also, people who do meditation believe that it connects them to the divine, and this is a very important aspect of naturopathic medicine.

From the foregoing, naturopathic medicine is an area that is well established. It basically believes in the holistic treatment of the body. According to the disciples of this field of medicine, treatment ought to identify and treat disease conditions. Also, there are various ways that a naturopath can treat a patient. In addition, there are complementary alternatives to naturopathic medicine and they all share the same principle of holistic approach to treatment. Moreover, all of these therapies are non-invasive and therefore painless. Since there are no exogenous toxic materials ingested, this field of medicine is the safest. Therefore, people should not be afraid to seek treatment from one of these guys because of misconceptions. They may just be able to heal you without any pain.

Should you take Nutritional Supplements?

Nutritional supplementation is a growing trend in consumers and health practitioners, and is vital to the maintenance of good health. With the options spanning over hundreds of thousands of products, how do we know if a nutritional supplement is right for us? Which products should we be taking, and why does our body need them? With 55% of the North American population consuming these products, it was only a matter of time before the popularity of supplements spreads across the globe – let’s see what they’re all about, and why we need them!

A nutritional or dietary supplement is intended to offer nutrients that you may not otherwise consume, in sufficient quantities, through everyday meals. By and large they are minerals, amino acids, fibers, herbs and vitamins among many other substances, all safe and regulated for consumer consumption. There are several statutes that govern this process, but basically, we are looking at products with assorted nutritional value and health benefits. If many nutrients are found in food, then why do we need to take supplements?

WE CAN’T GET ENOUGH FROM OUR FOOD

Advancements in modern technology and methods used to process foods have made it incredibly difficult for consumers to intake all of the nutrients, which are otherwise found in these foods when in their raw or pure form. The commercialization of agriculture and the techniques therein leave our plants and vegetables gripping to the little minerals left found in most soils. In the end, the food that is manufactured and processed have limited nutrients. Moreover, these agricultural products are then shipped to distributors over a long period of time, displayed for a consumer bid, leaving us with a shelf-life that is less than ideal. This lengthy process results in the depletion of important minerals, like C vitamins and the all-important B complex vitamins, for absorption once that product reaches our lips. Furthermore, the methods in which food is processed, preserved and cooked, nowadays, may also lead to gross loss of essential vitamins and minerals. This loss, in turn, makes it increasingly difficult for us to get sufficient nutrients from our food. This is where nutritional supplements become the number one solution in filling the health void in our diets.

MODERN ADVANCEMENTS DEMAND A CHANGE IN LIFESTYLE

Look at it this way, modern advancement has caused involuntary changes in human lifestyle that cause, in effect, a lack of available natural nutrients to be absorbed into our bodies. Formerly, we were an agrarian society with heaps of fresh food. Today we are an urban society, and food is required to travel a long way to different regions, reducing its nutrient content in the process. Food no longer comes straight out of the ground and onto our plate. It is exported, travels and sits, for lengthy periods, losing its beneficial properties every moment it is away from its roots. Although changes in society allows for the import and export of agricultural goods from one region to another, the food in which we are consuming is lacking in nutritional value – another reason why the need for supplements today is so strong.

Coincidentally, it is considered socially unacceptable for us to prance around in our birthday suits in today’s society; however, this implication effects the manner in which the body processes Vitamin D, as we are not in taking sufficient sunlight. Vitamin D has the ability to moderate the immune response, rather than simply strengthen it, and plays a fundamental role in bone health, promoting our absorption of both calcium and phosphorus. As a result of our lack in sun exposure, most will develop a deficiency in this important vitamin, and are in need of supplementation to maintain good health.

A conscious lifestyle change that we see trending is proper diet. However, statistically, the North American population find themselves exercising extremely poor diet regiments, which can later cause severe health problems. We are now in a world of fast food franchises, and over processed food, which make it easy for anyone to acquire diabetes, heart disease, hernias, kidney disease, gallbladder disease, and more. With diabetes, the amount of carbohydrates taken in overworks the pancreas, to a point where it will not be able to produce enough insulin. As a result, there is an excess of sugar in the blood that cannot be metabolized, in turn effecting other processes in the body. Nutritional supplements such as the Milk Thistle, Konjac Root (glucommanan), and Chromium Picolinate have been shown to combat this disease and regulate glucose levels in the body. When used in combination with healthy diet and an active lifestyle, these supplements are recognized as an aid in the management of diabetes.

STRESS IS NO LONGER TRANSITORY. WE ARE UNDER CONSTANT PROLONGED STRESS.

Most changes in life are involuntary and slow, so recognizing the need for a nutritional supplement is not always apparent. A common issue that most will suffer from is stress. Whether it be a stress over finances, illness, work pressures, or personal conflict, unrelenting stress can be detrimental to the body and our overall health.  During stressful periods, the body feeds off of specific minerals and vitamins, like magnesium and zinc, through an automatic change in our metabolism. Further, the body loses the very essential B vitamins, or anti-stress vitamins, when overcome with stress. The loss of B vitamins causes the body to lose its capacity to carry out various processes as our nervous system and adrenal gland lack support. Supplementing with a vitamin B complex will replenish what stress has depleted in the body and handle wavering stressors.

Additionally, stress causes a very high demand for vitamin C to be produced by the body. Vitamin C is essential for the suppression of the process that leads to the formation of cortisol, and is depleted during times of extreme stress. Studies show that taking a lot of Vitamin C will in fact help to combat stress in the body. Considering, however, that vegetables and fruits can no longer provide a sufficient quantity of this vitamin, it is imperative that one uses a nutritional supplement Vitamin C to make up for this shortage. A single vitamin C tablet alone will give you the vitamin equivalent of eating 20 oranges! An effective dose-therapeutic dose of Vitamin C (8 tablets per day) can even help those battling depression, ADHD, and insomnia.

POLLUTION HAS CAUSED EXPOSURE TO CHEMICALS WE HAVE NEVER BEEN EXPOSED TO BEFORE

Many changes in our lifetime are out of our control and are thrust upon us by our surrounding environment. The current unwanted disposal of harmful chemicals by industrial companies has led to our own exposure. When these chemicals are absorbed into the body, they instigate a chain reaction involving dangerous molecules known as free radicals, which may lead to oxidative stress, inflammation in the body, injuries to our organs, and in extremely toxic cases, even death. Research has shown that pollution alone is responsible for many cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases. Keeping this in mind, it is no wonder that the body must look for supplementary tools to deter the negative effects of its external environment. The most effective way to do so it through regular detoxifications.

Although the body can detoxify itself through the liver, when it is overwhelmed with unremitting pollution, help is necessary. It is at this point that one ought to seriously consider using a nutritional supplement, as they will be efficacious when ridding the body of toxins. Milk Thistle and Probiotics are essential, as they support and cleanse the liver during detoxification. Other supplements such as Krill Oil, Purple Defense, Astaxanthin with ALA and Acai Berry have also proven effective. Yet, these antioxidants ought to be taken in recommended dosages only in order to achieve maximum benefits.

SUPPLEMENTS AS MEDICINE – SUPPLEMENTS CAN BE USED TO PREVENT & TREAT DISEASES

The most important effect of supplements is their ability to treat or even prevent diseases much like traditional medicine. With the effect supplements have, in particular, on neuro transmitters in the brain, they can be used brain enhancers or cognitive enhancers, improving our cognition and memory. Mental focus and energy are also, as a result, positively affected. The amount of chemicals used for communication within the brain (neurons) are enhanced when one takes a nootropic. Additionally, a nutritional supplement will also enhance the synapses within the brain, improving cognition. Using specific sets of supplements, thus, can be used to fight conditions that are related to the decline of cognition, especially when someone is aging, going through Alzheimer’s, or have recently had a stroke.

After experiencing a stroke, memory loss to the brain is almost inevitable. Although it has been said that the nutritional properties in fruits can be used to recover memories, one would have to consume an exorbitant amount in a day to reap these benefits. Alternatively, a recovering stroke patient should consider natural nutritional supplements like Ginkgo biloba – so effective at treating memory loss that even doctors recommend it! As a matter of fact, it is the most effective nutritional supplement in correlation to the treatment of memory loss.

Whether it be a change in your own personal lifestyle, or the ever-changing environment that surrounds us, there is a nutritional supplement right for everyone. With hundreds of thousands of products to choose from, supplementing to achieve overall good health and vitality is easy, and using nutritional supplements to help maintain and treat serious health conditions is superlative.  Talk to your health professionals about your lifestyle, health concerns, and possible deficiencies. Together you can make educated decisions towards an appropriate nutritional supplement plan to better your future

Are Naturopathic Doctors Qualified?

How would you like to be treated without feeling pain or undergoing surgery? Well, there is a solution in naturopathic medicine. Essentially, naturopathic doctors are involved in offering treatment regimens that do not involve surgery or drugs. In other words, these doctors use practices that span centuries as well as old philosophy that nature is the best healer to manage various conditions. In addition, they also subscribe to the contemporary advances in research. However, naysayers have always had a lingering doubt regarding their place in the medical area. Many of these people wrongfully believe that naturopathic doctors are not real doctors. In fact, they even gone ahead and labeled them ‘frauds’. But there are various evidences that prove that naturopathic doctors are indeed genuine, certified doctors.

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They undergo all the rigors that your conventional doctors undergo. From their education to various certifications that are conferred upon them, naturopathic doctors are indeed qualified.

Naturopathic Education

To say that the kind of education that naturopathic doctors are subjected to is rigorous is an understatement. Their education is unique in the sense that they are required to study two approaches to medicine-natural and conventional medicine. These doctors attend a four-year graduate program in recognized institutions. During the four years, they will be taught in various subjects. First of all, they will spend their first two years studying basic sciences. This period will entail them learning about the various molecules that enter into the body and the subsequent manipulation that the molecules will undergo in a subject called Biochemistry. In addition, they will study the various parts of the human body in a program called Anatomy. Moreover, prospective naturopathic doctors will learn about microorganisms in nature in a subject called Microbiology. Also, naturopathic doctors do learn a bit of Physiology during this period. Essentially, naturopathic doctors are exposed to knowledge regarding basic sciences during their first two years in a medical college.

Naturopathic doctors also have to train in clinical sciences for a period of two years. During this period, they will learn things that involve the wellbeing of the reproductive system of females in an area known as gynecology. They are also equipped with knowledge in oncology, which is the study of cancer related issues. Additionally, naturopathic doctors are trained in heart diseases in a subject called cardiology.

Well, that’s just half the story. After a naturopathic doctor finishes the two studies, they are also introduced to alternative medicine techniques. They learn these alternative approaches through subjects such as homeopathy, acupuncture and hydrotherapy. Further, the doctors also learn the treatment of diseases using diet and plants also known as botanical medicine.

For one to become qualified in this area, they also need to do two years of practical studies in an area that interests them. As if this is not enough, they will further need to pass exams in these practical. Therefore, a naturopathic doctor studies for a total of four years. Two of those years are spend doing theoretical studies while the other two are used for practical purposes. After the four years elapse, one is conferred with a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine degree.

The above-mentioned four year program can only be undertaken in a medical school. Just like every other course, the school has to be accredited by the relevant bodies. In the North America region, there are a few colleges that have been certified to offer this course. Actually, they are seven in number. They include:

  • University of Bridgeport College of Naturopathic Medicine (UBCNM), Bridgeport, CT
  • Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine (SCNM), Tempe, AZ
  • National College of  Natural Medicine (NCNM), Portland, OR
  • Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine (CCNM), Toronto, ON, Canada
  • Boucher Institute of Naturopathic Medicine (BINM),Vancouver, BC, Canada
  • Bastyr University California, San Diego, CA
  • Bastyr University, Kenmore, WA

 

Internship and Preceptorship

After finishing class work, naturopathic program students are required to do internships and preceptorship. A preceptorship is a program that allows a student to observe the happenstances that go on in clinical settings. It is a mandatory part of the curriculum before one can finally graduate to be called a naturopathic doctor. According to various institutions, preceptorship should only be conducted in the presence of a qualified doctor. The major work of the student here is to observe the interaction between the preceptor (the doctor) and the patient. This way, they are able to learn exactly how one should conduct the business.

After the preceptorship, a student is also required to do an internship. This one can be arranged in the last year of the study depending on the student. This is an opportunity that naturopathic students use to put the knowledge that they acquired in class into practice. Normally, internship is done inside the institution or sometimes outside the institution at which point it is called externship. The purpose of such a program is to allow a student to apply all the knowledge that they have learnt in class into a real-life situation. Students also do the internship under supervision by a qualified health practitioner. In line with the accreditation requirements of the institution that the student learns in, they are supposed to do certain hours of preceptorship/internship for them to become qualified naturopathic doctors.

Board Exams and Certification

When we said that the process of becoming a naturopathic doctor is rigorous we meant rigorous. This is because naturopathic doctors are required to pass at least three board exams. The first two board exams are done in school. Here, they are compelled to sit for board exams that are set by the Council on Naturopathic Medical Education (CNME). The CNME is the body that sets and regulates all the educational standards of naturopathic medicine offering colleges. Its exams are taken by the students after completion of every course i.e. basic sciences and clinical sciences.

One would think that after completing the entire coursework curriculum, a naturopathic doctor would just go somewhere and start practicing. Far from it. Instead, they are required to seek certification. They can only be certified after sitting for and passing an examination known as the Naturopathic Physicians Licensing Examinations. This thorough examination is only given by North American Board of Naturopathic Examiners (NABNE). Most importantly, these examinations are only given to one after NABNE has determined that one graduated from a certified naturopathic college. And the accreditation of the said college must have been done by the Council on Naturopathic Medical Education (CNME).

Provincial Regulation

In Canada, provincial law is used to regulate the practice of naturopathic medicine in five provinces. This law is applied in provinces such as Saskatchewan, Ontario, Alberta, British Colombia and Manitoba. There is also Nova Scotia in this category except that it offers Title Protection. Under the provincial rules and regulations, it is imperative that a naturopathic doctor holds a graduate degree from an accredited medical school. This degree should have been done in not less than four years with rigorous board examinations to boot.

In the province of Ontario, this medicine has been controlled since early 1990s. But then the legislature formulated an Act known as the Naturopathy Act in 2015, which gives naturopathic doctors more powers. Naturopathic doctors are provincially regulated by the College of Naturopaths of Ontario. In British Columbia, the Naturopathic Physicians Act has been in place since 1936, but it has only recently been modified to conform to the dynamics of this area of medicine. The College of Naturopathic Physicians of British Columbia (CNPBC) is responsible for the provincial regulation of naturopathic doctors in this region. Further, the remaining regions also have their provincial regulatory bodies. So, just like medical doctors, naturopathic doctors are regulated by relevant bodies.

Mandated Continuing Education

In order to maintain their licensure, then naturopathic doctors are required to have continuous education. This is in a bid to maintain competence. Also, it enables these doctors to offer their patients with latest naturopathic treatments as well as assure the public. Such continuous educations vary with respective colleges. The continuous education is divided into categories that account for a certain hours of the program. Basically, the naturopathic doctor is required to assimilate latest knowledge in this field through activities such as various seminars, lecture endeavors and for prescribing ones, seminars with the certifying authority. So at the end of the day, you realize that naturopathic doctors are very qualified judging by this activity.

Certification in Complimentary Modalities

Certification in complementary medicine such as acupuncture, homeopathy, chiropractic, and massage therapy is essential.  When a naturopathic doctor passes the board examination, they are also required to pass separate examinations in fields such as the above-mentioned ones. According to the opinion shapers in this area of medicine, this kind of diversity enables the naturopathic doctors to combat various diseases. There are professional bodies for the different complimentary modalities whose function is to assist with the licensure process. Thus, a naturopathic doctor who has also diversified into acupuncture, homeopathy, massage therapy or whichever modality is totally qualified.

Clearly, naturopathic doctors are very qualified. In fact some of them are overqualified. These physicians are just like the conventional ones. They undergo very intensive training program that I believe a lot of people have fallen by the wayside before they complete them. Therefore, people should not slate them because of their qualifications because we have just demystified the myth.